Any cyclist with a sense of adventure won’t feel foolish taking a deep dive into Ontario’s agricultural heartland. The Farmers Folly is a bikepacking route designed to offer up a bounty of riding surfaces tracing 400 kilometres of cropland, marshes, time-worn bridges, native forests and big-sky views.
Start your journey in the village of St. Jacob’s, located in the heart of Mennonite country, and from here strike out into open countryside on sun-smashed country roads before rolling into all the tree-lined barely there roads that a bikepacker could yearn for. Here, in the land of no winter maintenance, there are few signs of human presence. It all seems untamed. A vapid corn-strewn landscape this is not.
It is not designed to be the most direct route possible (that would be rather yawny), but instead one that wends through the most enticing locations that this region of Ontario offers up to help inspire a sense of two-wheel adventure. Places that will remain unbent by tourism, the pace of modern world. But this is not a route that requires expert bikepacking skills or carrying pounds of food and water as services come regularly.
In the end, you can revel in one of Ontario’s most enticing bikepacking rewards – the chance for a victory photo at St. Jacob’s most famous tractor.
- Mennonite country: Take off in the heart of Mennonite country where you can try to out-pace the horse and buggies. Quiet country roads that are the epitome of gravel grinding.
- Luther Marsh: A big traverse around Luther Marsh, a wetlands area of the Grand River watershed that is known for its biological importance.
- Hogg’s Falls: A glide to the plunging Hogg’s Falls along Lower Valley Road – one of the most picturesque gravel roads in southern Ontario.
- Unmaintained gravel roads: A collection of captivating and lonely unmaintained roads that are one of the routes most enticing rewards.
- Elora Cartaract Trail: A pedal along the Elora Cataract trail, one of the provinces best kept rail trails.
- Grand River: Multiple crossings of the Grand River – the largest river that is entirely within the southern Ontario’s boundaries.
- Woolwich Reservoir: Take a trip around the picturesque Woolwich Reservoir.
- Quaint towns and markets: Wind down in a handful of charming and welcoming small communities. Try something new at a local market. Will it be a traditional or a raspberry coconut butter tart at the Belwood Country Market?
The Farmer’s Folly was not created by the team at Bikepack Adventures. It being featured on this website is for informational purposes only and to give a full picture of the amazing rides in the region.
For more detailed information on this route, including the latest updates to the route and POIs, visit the Farmer’s Folly route on the BT 700 website.